2021 MLB Draft: Mason McRae’s Top-50

Written by: Mason McRae (@mason_mcrae)

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Similar to the quarterback who follows Tom Brady in New England, the 2021 class has huge shoes to fill after the sheer depth of last year’s crop. While the depth of this year’s class currently pales in comparison to the C/O 2020, it’s way too early to even compare the starpower of the two classes. And with Vanderbilt providing two of the best pitching prospects we’ve seen in a few years, it’s possible the draft doesn’t miss a beat this year.

For those of you following close to the draft coverage at Prospects 365, you can find my personal board for this year’s class on the website and on my twitter page. Known as the War Room, it changes daily, and reports are continuously updated and added. Currently holding over 500 prospects, it’s the deepest database available on the internet for free, though I highly recommend checking out Prospect Live’s Board as Joe & Ralph are two of the best in the industry. 

Without further ado, here’s the top 50 prospects on my board. 

1. Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt

Coming out of High School, Leiter was one of the tougher signs in recent years – he reportedly turned down 4.5M from the Diamondbacks – and like fellow draft eligible Commodore, Kumar Rocker, he was basically deemed unsignable. Leiter’s freshman year, while shortened, was still a glaring representation of how advanced he was as a 19-year-old prep arm, and his elite four-pitch-mix has three pitches that flash plus or better (60+). His SL (2,280 rpm) is his top offering, a low-80’s wipeout pitch that’s tough to see out of the hand because of his arm action. His 12-6 CB (2,285 rpm), while impressive, isn’t an out pitch, and the instability of the pitch was obvious in his final outing against TCU, where he got hit around a bit. Leiter’s FB is a plus pitch, it’s got average spin numbers (2,280 – 2,340 rpm) and the carry on the pitch (created by flat VAA & 19.7 IVB) that’s allowed him to pitch up in the zone, as well as elite extension (6’6) that makes his perceived velocity much more prominent. Leiter’s CH (1,750 rpm) works around 81 and flashes above average. Typically working 92-94, touching 96. Leiter’s control, while not elite, has been refined and his walk rates don’t entirely paint the picture. He’s freshman eligible, so naturally a bit tougher of a sign, but he lacks what’s considered the ideal starting pitcher size, though for evidence of success a player with Jack’s size can produce, look no further than his father, Al, who was just 6’2 and accumulated a 40.0 WAR in 19 big league seasons. Makeup wise, Leiter seems to be a golden boy, by all accounts (former teammates/coaches) he’s a standup guy with not an ounce of selfishness in his body. His coaches at US Baseball talked about as highly as one could & even with a former MLB pitcher in his back pocket at home, he was coachable and one of the hardest working kids on a team with dozens of high profile draft picks.

2. Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt

We’ve known about Rocker since he was hitting the upper-90’s as an underclassmen in high school. Like his fellow teammate, Jack Leiter, Rocker was daring teams to give him top 5 money and make him forgo his commitment to the pitching factory of Vanderbilt, and in the end, fulfill his commitment. Rocker’s from an athletic, and highly intelligent family, his dad played in the NFL & currently coaches at University of Tennessee. It’s no secret why the sturdy built pitcher looks like a linebacker, though Rocker’s frame basically has little to no projection left at all and he’s been around 6’4 for quite awhile now. On the mound, Rocker’s as poised and under-control as Max Scherzer, and he’s a hell of a competitor. Rocker grew national fame after throwing a perfect game against Duke, in that same game, Duke had a “hitting conference” later on to throw Rocker off, he followed it up with a inning ending strikeout and looked about as jacked up as one could be. Rocker at his best works 94-95, topping out at 98, and staying in that range for most of the game, it’s an easy 95, though the FB (55-Grade) isn’t a bat-missing pitch (~9.0 SwStr%) and it’s got average raw spin (2,245 rpm), but the IVB (18.6) helps the pitch play up despite the lack of characteristics. Rocker’s bread & butter are his two breaking balls, the lesser being a hard-hitting low-80’s CB (35.0 SwStr%). His SL (2,290 rpm) is another hard-hitting 88 mph pitch with advanced horizontal vertical break, and fantastic command of the pitch, more gyro spin heavy opposed to transverse spin, the pitch practically falls off the table at the end of its shape. His CH (1,700 rpm) is another above average pitch, it’s anywhere from 86 to 88 with fade, dive and bat-missing life. 

3. Jud Fabian, OF, Florida

Similarly to what Nate Savino did much more recently – Fabian early enrolled into Florida as a 18-year-old in 2018 and bypassed the 2018 Draft all together. He’s now one of the younger junior eligible prospects and quite literally the best of the ~21-year-old prospects. Fabian has been playing CF since he stepped foot in Gainesville, including all of his 37 Cape Cod games as a rising sophomore, where he showed above average power with a wood bat and a hit tool that’s plus when at it’s best, which is practically all-the-time at this point. He’s an above average defender with above average leg speed and an above average arm. He’s quick, but an inefficient base runner and garners most of his value from his ability to hit for contact & power at a premium spot with the tools to stay there. Fabian’s batted ball profile makes him all the better, EV’s around 92 mph & a max EV of 105, as well as LA’s around 17.2. With prospects at the upper half of the draft, or at least in Fabian’s case, his fantastic batted ball profile doesn’t really make too much of a difference as non model teams still likely see 6’s from the hit & power and the athleticism to stay in CF. There are some parallels to former Gator, Jonathan India.

4. Brady House, 3B, Winder-Barrow (HS)

House is the epitome of a perfectly optimized prep hitter at the plate, swinging it like some of best hitters in baseball today. Scouts have been piling into stands for showcases featuring Brady House, the young-for-the-class Tennessee commit is one of the more advanced amateur hitters (EV’s around 96, max of 98) I’ve ever seen. House is likely the only player I’ve ever seen that’s got 1st Round talents from both sides of the ball, he’s up to 96 on the mound, occasionally throwing a hard-hitting CB, and a solid CH. But his profile is mostly offensive-oriented. House has an advanced swing, with mechanics some of the more elite hitters possess (Front Leg Stability, Torque), and he’s a plus-hitter with plus raw-power, he’s hit everywhere he goes and consistently hits solid pitching. There’s obviously plus bat speed with elite (78.2 mph) barrel speed and acceleration.

5. Matt McLain, SS, UCLA

Had it not been for the ridiculously loaded ’19 UCLA infield – which featured four draft picks in Michael Toglia (1st Round), Chase Strumpf (2nd Round), Ryan Kreidler (4th Round), Jack Stronach (21st Round) – McLain would’ve been UCLA’s starting SS as a freshman, but instead he became their Swish Army Knife and was slotted into CF, and 3B where his athleticism and sheer instincts were evident. McLain was taken 25th Overall out of High School by the Diamondbacks and opted to fulfill his UCLA commitment, as a Freshman in power five play, McLain struggled, but his advanced hitability was still present (average EV’s around 88 mph, max EV of 105 mph) and scouts weren’t so worried about the uber-athletic freak’s ability to hit as it’s been his niche since he was an underclassmen in High School. In McLain’s shortened sophomore year, he was handed the reigns at shortstop and didn’t look back, he was clearly engineered to play the spot long term. Teams see all five tools in McLain, a plus hit, average raw, above average arm, plus speed, and above average glove. He’s a premium player at a premium position with every tool you’d need to select a player in the upper-portions of a draft. One of McLain’s only issues is a lack of lift in the swing as his LA’s are around 9.1, far from the ideal angle, contributing to the minimal hang time on BIP.

6. Marcelo Meyer, SS, Eastlake (HS)

Eastlake produced a First Round Pick just two years ago when Keoni Cavaco went 13th overall. Mayer is in line to follow his former double play partner and become the fifth player drafted out of the California based school since 2012. Likely to stay at SS, Mayer should provide conventional value all-around the field, an above average fielder & runner, Mayer’s swing tops them both, a plus hit tool and growing power tool (lack of loft) should appease teams selecting at the top half of the draft, though there’s some tweaking needed to be done in order to generate more then just the gap-to-gap 5 power he’s showing in-games. Fantastic extension & hip/torso separation play into quick lateral rotation. The combination of athleticism & natural inclined feel for the bat should fall somewhere in the middle of the first round. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Prospect Pipeline)

7. Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Ole Miss

Hoglund was drafted in the First Round out of High School, but opted to not sign and head to Mississippi. Hoglund’s still growing, and his profile still is largely unfinished, but he currently flashes three above average or better (55+) pitches. His FB being the best offering, a plus pitch, even with only high-80’s stuff. It’s a high spin (2,410 rpm) with above average extension (6.1) and decent vertical rise (18.3 IVB). He commands the FB well to both sides, and gets fantastic results at the top half of zone where he gets most of his 14.0 SwStr%. His SL/CH are his two secondaries, both flashing plus with ideal spin rates (2,490 rpm on SL, 1,825 rpm on CH), the SL’s got fantastic movement profiles (minimal vMov, some hMov), ranging from 80-82, touching 84, though with average extension (5.9). Elite swing-and-miss data clouds Hoglund (27.1% on SL, 28.0% on CH). Hoglund’s in a weird spot as the velocity doesn’t profile at the top of a draft (similar to Detmers) but the pitch data is through the roof and his opposing data screams high end first round pick. With improved velocity and continued swing-and-miss stuff, he’s a top 10 pick.

8. Alex Binelas, 3B, Louisville

We didn’t get to see much of the Freshman All-American in his sophomore season as he had hamate surgery (heavily common injury for hitters) after getting pulled midway through the Saturday Night game on opening weekend. Binelas played a crucial role en route to the Cardinals’ college world series appearance, walking it off against Illinois State to win their regional, and reaching base five times, including two XBH in their super regional sweep over ECU. Binelas has all-fields raw plus power and a sweet left-handed stroke with a fantastic approach and above average hit tool. He’s an average defender at 3B, with an awkward arm action and might be better suited in LF, but he’s likely to play a corner spot not named 1B, so there will be at least some value in the glove, even if it’s an offensive profile. Binelas’ batted ball profile might be the best of the college crop (EV’s around 95 mph, Max EV of 109 mph, LA’s around 13.5) and even with the defensive question marks you can envision a plus hitter at the next level.

9. Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land (HS)

Montgomery’s the ultimatum for whether or not you truly value data as a scout. Those that struggle to project hitters with way too moving parts & long gangly arms might find it tough giving Benny a First Round Grade, but scouts who incorporate data into their evaluations should find it easy grading him. With his bat metrics (Barrel Speed, acceleration), you can already put a 6 on the bat speed, and with his elite EV’s (98+ mph) you can project plus power with already plus raw power. He’s got massive arms, yet elite hands that get to ideal angles at contact. The crazy part is how much of an elite athlete he is, even with the frame, you can envision at least a 5 defender in CF with plus speed and a 55 arm (probably plus). If Montgomery gets with the right player development staff – one that can iron out his moving pieces & still keep his raw power in tack – you could get a possible 4.5+ WAR Player. By the time we get to draft day, you could see Benny get plus grades at mostly all of his tools with four (arm, run, bat speed, power) present plus tools.

10. Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional (HS)

The history of teenage arms that touch triple-digits is one that scares off a handful of organizations unwilling to take on the medical history of the demographic. Working from 94-96 in longer stints and 97-97, T100 in shorter stints, Petty’s got advanced arm whip and one of the better two-seam fastballs in the class with average spin rates & well above average horizontal movement. He’s a classic sinkerballer with a sweeping SL that’s plus at times, his CH’s another above average offering at least, flashing plus at times with fading movement in the 89-90 mph range. He’s done a good job of toning down the violence in his delivery & there’s obvious starter traits. He’s also young for the class and committed to Florida. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Perfect Game)

11. Ethan Wilson, OF, South Alabama 

As a Freshman, Wilson blasted nearly 20 HR. Wilson’s bat gets to the ideal launch position, and has natural loft in an uphill plained swing. Wilson’s plus raw power, and plus in-game power help separate him from the pack, the pack being corner outfield bats, especially ones limited to LF-only. Wilson has above average leg speed, and an average arm, so he’s an above average defender in left, but the bat’s his entry into the draft and he’ll have to keep making hard contact. Wilson’s lower half opens up a touch early, and he’s similar to Daniel Murphy mechanically wise. There’s some swing-and-miss in Wilson’s bat, and he has a tough time with soft stuff, but it’s mostly because of his bat path, which creates the power teams are interested in. Prior to seeing Wilson’s batted ball profile, he seemed like only a late first rounder, but his numbers are as good as they get (Max EV of 112 mph, LA’s around 10.5) and there’s still a chance he plays CF next spring.

12. Jaden Hill, RHP, LSU

A two-sport athlete and the top player coming out of Arizona in 2018, Hill underwent surgery in May of 2019 to remove a screw from a plate in his collarbone, an injury he sustained playing high school football. The procedure did not relate to Hill’s elbow issues, which erased most of his freshman year & eventually ended it when he had surgery on his arm. Hill’s four-pitch mix is somewhat out of the ordinary. Flashing an above average FB in the 92-94 range, touching 98, the pitch lacks spin (2,120 rpm) but there’s enough extension (6.2), though you’re looking for more from a low-spin 6’4 righty. His SL, an above average offering thrown in the 80-82 range with heavy horizontal movement, but below average spin (2,350 rpm). His CT’s (86-88, 2,200 rpm) an average offering for now, due to some efficiencies. Hill’s CH is the top offering, an easy plus pitch with above average horizontal movement and spin rates (1,750 rpm) in the range you’d hope. Still recovering from his injury, Hill was slowly being worked into a long relief role, which was more than likely going to transition into a swingman role had the season not ended. At his best, Hill sat 95-96 for an inning or two, hitting 98 at times. Later on in his lengthy relief outings, he’d sit 90-92 with above average command and surprisingly good, and well above average (plus) control. Most young power-arms struggle to harness their hard-hitting velocity, but Hill’s managed to do it and flashes three above average or better (55+) Pitches.

13. Ian Moller, C, Walhert (HS)

With the deep 2020 prep catching class (Romo, Soderstrom, Miller) in the rear view mirror, Moller might be more advanced than his three counterparts. Whether it’s behind-the-plate or in the box, Moller’s a game wrecker, there’s numerous plus tools (Power, Arm, Glove) and the mechanics (Hip/Torso Rotation, Spine & Bat Angle) are flawless for his age. Behind-the-plate he’s a solid blocker, showing the ability to throw guys out from his knees, but I like him better at the plate where you can bank on above average numbers from a premium position. In every aspect of the data world, Moller’s a monster, EV’s consistently in the high-90’s and as high as 102, as well as LA’s on BIP in the 18-22 range. Aside from Moller’s demographic, I’ve got zero concerns with the Iowa product & LSU commit. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of 2080 Baseball)

14. Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall (HS)

Going into the PG National, he was a relatively unknown prospect and viewed as a fringy two-way guy. After filling the zone up with one of the best slider’s you’ll see from a prep arm, Jackson said goodbye to any chance of being a two-way player as the further development of his stuff on the mound is where teams are ready to invest seven figures. With the new-age analytics world we live in, guys with a 55 FB (2,500 rpm) and 65 SL (3,150 – 3,200 rpm) are heavily coveted and oftentimes taken much earlier on then anticipated. He even dropped in a 82-84 mph CH that flashed above average and could continue growing with his slot. Jobe is the epitome of a sandwich pick with the pitch data progressive teams are lining up for. The command is a 5, and the control was above average at times, but the raw spin he creates is seriously advanced. There are some inefficiencies with his lower half & posture at release, but both are quick fixes and should add more stability/velocity to his profile. Tanner Burns body proportions.

15. Jordan Lawler, SS, Jesuit College Prep (HS)

Age isn’t on Lawlar’s side (nearly 19 in June) but he’s got fantastic feel for his bat, ideal bat angle at contact with fantastic arm bend and Trout/Torkelson finishes, he’s part of a deep HS SS class this year. Defensively he’s alright, some arm strength shines light on the average mobility and glove, but he’ll provide some thump with the bat. LA’s in the upper-90’s bring some comfort. Lawlar’s got some of the best hitability in the class, advanced feel for spin and a strong core help him keep his entire body synced together and create above average raw power that likely becomes plus in the future with added muscle, though the current body proportions are ideal. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Perfect Game)

16. Braylon Bishop, OF, Arkansas (HS)

The strength generated from Bishop’s hands are beyond advanced. The upside in his profile is that of any prep outfielder we’ve seen in recent years, even higher than that of Zac Veen or Austin Hendrick. The Arkansas commit while fun to watch, is as hot & cold as they get, he goes on runs of sheer dominance, but also can strike out four times in a night and leave you grasping at straws. Bishop has plus raw power which plays in-game (60-Grade) against high end pitching. Bishop has a classic upper-cut and it’s more of a timing based swing with natural loft in it, he’s struggled with offspeed and soft stuff as well.

17. Christian Little, RHP, Christian Brothers (HS)

The strength generated from Bishop’s hands are beyond advanced. The upside in his profile is that of any prep outfielder we’ve seen in recent years, even higher than that of Zac Veen or Austin Hendrick. The Arkansas commit while fun to watch, is as hot & cold as they get, he goes on runs of sheer dominance, but also can strike out four times in a night and leave you grasping at straws. Bishop has plus raw power which plays in-game (60-Grade) against high end pitching. Bishop has a classic upper-cut and it’s more of a timing based swing with natural loft in it, he’s struggled with offspeed and soft stuff as well. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Baseball America) 

18. Tyree Reed, OF, American Canyon (HS)

An Oregon State commit, Reed’s got a lean body and lot’s of mass to add on, he’s still somewhat raw with the bat and lets his upper-half fly open early. He’s got fantastic bat-to-ball skills and makes hard contact in an all-fields approach, but he loses out on some of his power due to the lack of extension he gets from his hands. One of the reasons I had to drop Reed on my board is his Data (doesn’t produce great EV’s) but he’s still heavily projectable. Reed’s athletic enough to play in CF, where he’s a plus-runner, but he’s got a plus arm (95 from RF) and would be a plus-defender in RF with the ability to add serious value from every aspect of the game. His hit tool’s above average, but he’s got a fantastic vertical bat angle. His power tool’s below average, but he’s got plus raw power and could tap into if he uses his strength more. Reed hasn’t had problems with offspeed and has a good base under himself, which helps him stay back and identify soft stuff. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Perfect Game)

19. Luke Leto, SS, Portage Central (HS)

Michigan born high schoolers have a poor track record, and Nick Plummer in 2015 is the last & only player to go in the first round of the 21st century. While the 2000s have been a struggle, the state produced Hall of Famer Derek Jeter in 1992. Leto’s profile features five average or better (50+) tools, including above average hit, plus power, plus speed, and above average arm. He’s got a knack for making good contact and controlling his loud barrel. Brady House has been the calling card of the ’21 class for years now, but Leto’s been climbing draft boards and has some of the best pure hitting abilities in a deep middle infielders class. At the PG National, Leto wasn’t as game wrecking as you’d hope, and he was just average with the glove at short – though still good enough to stay – and not even the best hitter on his own team (Ian Moller stole his thunder), but his bat speed is advanced (70 Grade) and you can’t ignore his hitability. LA’s around 26-28 should buy some attraction, and with his lower half inefficiencies, the current average EV’s around 92 should see upticks in the future, but a max EV of 98 as a still raw high schooler is impressive nonetheless.

20. Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian Academy (HS)

You can cross a lot of boxes with Painter, an imposing pitcher (6’7, 225 lbs) with repeatable & clean mechanics as well as feel for spin. He’s as traditional as they get and he’s typically the type of prep arm you’ll see once a year. Painter sits 92-94, T95 with his FB (2,400-2,500 rpm) getting above average spin. His two variations of a breaking ball are both above average or better (55+) and the SL flashes plus while the CB (76-77, 2,400 – 2,500 rpm) is closer to 50 then 55. Data wise he’s not a guy it’ll scream for, but there’s a foundation to work on and you can project upticks on the FB velocity with added muscle. There are some concerns with him as his VAA’s (vertical approach angle) got some height to it and it hurts his ability to create a heavy back spinning FB (pitch w/ vertical carry, creates the illusion of rise). He also gets underwhelming extension, hurting his ability to be a prototypical sinkerballer that can drop in a plus-SL with quick-hitting stuff. So he’s basically just a ball of clay for developmental staffs, as of now. (Video in tweet below courtesy of Perfect Game) 

21. Adrian Del Castillo, C, Miami 

Coming out of High School, Del Castillo was the top ranked catcher in Florida and the 25th overall prospect within the state. He was eventually drafted in the 36th round by White Sox, but didn’t sign. You’ll struggle to find an amateur catching prospect as advanced as Del Castillo when in the box, the physically matured catcher has a sublime eye and a natural inclined feel for hit. He’s got a sweet left-handed cut and makes hard contact to all-fields. His plus-hit and above average power at a premium spot put him in the driver’s seat for next year’s draft. Behind-the-plate he’s adequate, there’s above average arm strength but fringe receiving skills, he’s likely best suited playing both C & 1B at the next level, like Miami alum, Zack Collins.

22. Michael Braswell, SS, Campbell (HS)

In a deep prep SS class – Braswell’s talents have been devalued, and his plus speed/arm fit perfectly at SS, where he’s got a 55 hit, 45 power tool. He’s got good bat tilt at contact, helping the limited raw power play into the gaps, but with his strong hands, you could add some tilt into the swing at the next level. He produces well above average EV’s, but with his LA’s, it minimizes the effect of them. Because of his hand-eye & bat whip, it’s gone unnoticed, but his lateral rotation, aka torque is lackadaisical, which isn’t much of a knock as he’s so athletic you should find tweaking it relatively easy. Fact of the matter is Braswell’s athleticism plays into his entire profile and you can draft & develop as you go, but the present hit tool’s far from a project as he can flat out hit. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Perfect Game)

23. Alex Mooney, SS, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (HS)

Old for the class, but advanced baseball IQ and the makeup is great by all accounts. Plus runner at SS with 5 arm/glove. LA’s are likely near perfect (17-18) as bat tilt pre rotation is ideal & the high EV’s are optimized by ball flights. Was one of the more talked about players pre PG National and he delivered, was one of the biggest grinders all week, constant long AB’s with a natural feel for contact. The age is a concern, but he’s clearly advanced in regards to his younger competition, but he’s likely to play a premium spot at a serviceable rate with an at least average hit tool and 45 power tool, though the raw is somewhere between average and above average today. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Perfect Game) 

24. Mason Black, RHP, Lehigh

To the surprise of most, including me, Lehigh has produced an MLB Draft Pick in four of the last six drafts & their highest selection came only two drafts ago, when Levi Stoudt went in the 3rd round of the 2019 Draft. Black jumped on radars after a solid showing on the Cape after a loud freshman campaign. Black’s brief sophomore season was filled with ups & downs, but his stuff was loud and outweighed the lackluster results. Black’s stuff features three future plus pitches, with his SL being the best. Black’s FB has heavy run, and perfectly fits his future role, being a sinker-baller who can pitch down in the zone and produce elite results while dropping in a slurvy breaking ball and a solid change of pace pitch in the CH. Concerns are a given with pitchers from a low end school & Black’s swing-and-miss numbers aren’t eye popping, even with the competition he’s faced, so there’s risk there and his arm action lags behind his body. 

25. Izaac Pacheco, 3B, Friendswood (HS)

A shortstop for his high school, Pacheco’s got a Brady House defensive outlook, in the sense that he plays SS, but a combination of size & athleticism (or lack thereof) will push him to a corner. Pacheco produces well above average EV’s, and there’s similarities to Drew Romo from the left side, with ideal arm bend and some rawness to his bottom half. From a profile standpoint, there are some parallels to Drew Bowser. You can envision Pacheco as an above average (3 – 5 DRS) defender at 3B, where he’s got a plus-arm. Offensively he’s mostly 4’s, but you can put a 5 on the hit. (Video in embedded tweet below courtesy of Perfect Game) 

26. Ty Madden, RHP, Texas

He’s not aesthetically pleasing mechanically, but Madden’s got great pitch data and generates well above average vertical movement on his FB which comes with the over-the-top slot and 12/6 CB (55-Grade) he’ll drop in for a strike occasionally. He throws an above average SL that’s shape doesn’t isn’t great, but the data behind it (horizontal break) should play at the next level. Madden should appeal to a wide variety of teams as he throws four pitches (a 50 CH the least amount) and can throw all four for a strike. At his best, Madden works around 92, touching 94. The history of Longhorn college arms is an unpleasant track record, but AJ Minter (2013, 39th overall) has had a solid career. 

27. Colson Montgomery, SS, Southridge (HS)

Ignore the age and he’s probably near the top 10, but you just can’t look past it. Being well over 19-years-old on draft day, Montgomery’s ability to play a premium spot is a turn of the tides in his favor, in comparison to Austin Hendrick, who was 19-years-old on draft day at an offensive position, yet he went 12th overall, and the year before Brett Baty went 13th overall while being a half year older then Montgomery. There’s shades of Bo Bichette in the box, an ideal launch position with opened up front leg at land plays into gaudy LA’s & great batted ball profile (max EV around 95). His bat & hands are advanced, as are the mechanics. He’s an easy 5 at short with an at least average arm and glove to go along, though unlikely to stay there with the growing frame shifting him to 3B where he’d probably be a plus defender. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Perfect Game) 

28. Drew Gray, LHP, Belleville East (HS)

Gray started out the week (at the PG National) playing the corner outfield and making solid contact but then got a shot on the bump and there’s zero chance he’s playing the outfield again. He dropped in a 90-91 FB with 2,450 rpm. His SL was an above average offering with sweeping break in the 2,685 rpm range.  He’s got solid mechanics and engages his lower half well, including fantastic posture and core usage. His arms are long and there’s lots of projection left, his slot’s ideal. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Perfect Game) 

29. Ben Specht, RHP, Florida 

Because of Florida’s deep staff, Specht hasn’t had much of a role for O’Sullivan’s staff. He’s mostly worked in a high-leverage relief role, sitting 92-93, touching 96 while flashing a plus-CH (2,075 rpm) and above average FB (2,240 rpm) with elite extensions (6.4). He’ll drop in an occasionally good looking SL (2,200 rpm) that’s above average w/ fringy spin but ideal movement (minimal vMov, slight hMov. He’s got fantastic lower half usage, but poor separation. He rides his backside well down the mound and creates easy velocity. With Leftwich and Mace returning, and Barco/Manning likely looking at an immediate role as underclassmen, where Specht stands is uncertain, but he’s talented, and has the stuff to start once a weekend.

30. Robby Martin, OF, Florida State 

When Martin went through the Draft Process in 2018, he was a corner outfielder with feel for hit and some power. The Seminole’s been limited to RF & LF in Tallahassee, and split time at those two spots on the Cape during the ’19 summer where he struggled to hit with wood. Martin’s tools are mostly average across the board, with the outlier being an above average hit tool, though it’s fringe. He makes hard contact, but struggles to get to the point of contact, showing massive swing-and-miss issues in his time at Florida State. Defensively, he’s better fit for LF, his leg speed’s average and not getting much better, and his arm’s average as well. His swing’s solid, but there’s fringe raw power and he lacks uplift in his cut, it’s mostly a line drive, gap-to-gap, all-fields approach which has worked thus far. 

31. Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East (HS)

The younger brother of Charlie Mack (2018 Draft, 6th Round), Joe’s also a Clemson commit, but lacks the positional question marks his brother faced in the draft cycle. Behind the plate Joe’s an average defender, and below average receiver, but the arm strength is obvious, and above average. As a left-handed hitter, Mack produces just above average EV’s with just average barrel speed. The value of a LHH hitter at a premium position make you dream on the upside, team’s who think he can stick likely see a first round talent even with the demographic risk. An above average hit tool (some swing and miss) and plus raw power profiles anywhere in the field, and with robo umps in the future, he’s an ideal fit behind the plate, but he’s likely a better fit in RF with the arm/bat strength. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Perfect Game) 

32. Jake Fox, SS, Lakeland Christian (HS)

Lakeland’s been in hibernation – with MLB Draft Prospects – since their 2010 team produced three draft picks, including 2nd Round Pick, Yordy Cabrera. After committing to Florida later than most (Rising junior Summer), Fox saw rapid increases in bat speed & EV’s which put him in line to become the highest selected player from Lakeland Christian. The middle infielder likely shifts to another spot in the dirt (3B/2B) as the arm’s just average (87 from SS) and he’s not a standout with his glove. Fox’s value is in the bat – though it’s ability to profile at a premium spot would help. As a left-handed hitter, Fox gets into fantastic positions, and gets ideal spinal tilt at contact, with a solid vertical bat angle that helps him tap into the limited raw power (50-Grade) in-game. Fox’s hit tool could get plus-grades, but his track record is limited and the EV’s he produces aren’t great (around 87) but you could put 5’s on basically all of his tools (55-Hit, 50-Power, 55-Speed, 50-Arm, 55-Glove) and some have the ability to grow over the summer showcase circuit. There are some parallels to Gavin Lux out of high school.

33. Michael Morales, RHP, East Pennsboro (HS)

Prior to the PG National, Morales was one of my personal favorites from the prep pitching side, he’s got a fantastic arm and picturesque delivery, but in his PG National outing, his stuff waxed and waned and his inability to bound the zone with his FB led to his breaking ball being an ineffective offering even if the shape showed some potential. At his best, Morales works from 91-92, touching 94 (5.1 – 5.3 release height) with decent vertical movement (around 18.5 IVB) on the pitch and above average spin (2,400 rpm) as well as fantastic spin efficiency (96-98%) while flashing an above average CB (2,450 rpm) and average CH. After a few batters, Morales was down to 88-89 and the FB continued to miss the zone & get barreled. The positives in Morales’ profile (arm action, mechanics, data) leave time for the Vanderbilt commit to develop and there’s so much upside even if the command doesn’t scream middle of rotation arm. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Perfect Game) 

34. Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College

Coming out of a Massachusetts High School, Frelick was the no. 2 SS in the state, but didn’t get drafted. Had his arm strength been better, he’d have likely stayed at short, but his arm (or lack thereof) and leg speed pushed him into an outfield role, where he split time in CF and RF as a freshman. He played both spots well above average and should’ve stayed in CF, but switched to RF as a sophomore. He’s got plus-speed and a great first step, suited to play CF. Frelick’s bat has waxed and waned, and it’s above average for now, but there’s some inconsistencies in it that seemed to be ironed out towards the end of his sophomore year, he’s a solid runner and bunts often. Power isn’t part of his game, but he’s got some uplift in his cut and creates some decent exit velo’s for his size and strength.

35. Chase Burns, RHP, Station Camp (HS)

With little to no projection left, Burns’ frame is close to complete, and his present profile is likely near the end. Working 93-96, touching 99 at times with an imposing frame is the framework of his portfolio. Massive spin rates on the FB (2,400 – 2,520 rpm) is majorly the only reason he”s even this high. The operation screams reliever, and it’s tough not to envision another version of Dellin Betances when watching Burns. Throwing two versions of a breaking ball, the better being a decent SL. Thrown around 2,350 rpm, it’s an appealing pitch do to the tunnel. His CB’s around 2,230 rpm and has some potential with the complimentary FB characteristics. Burns’ profile has massive potential, but the scarce history of teenage arms touching triple digits combined with lackluster mobility & athleticism worries me.

36. Cody Schrier, SS, JSerra Catholic (HS)

Part of a talented trio at JSerra (Luke Jewett, Gage Jump), with all committed to UCLA, Schrier’s likely the best of the bunch. He’s a serviceable shortstop and plays the position well, but he’s got a fringe arm and slow transfer. Schrier’s a solid hitter, making above average contact with an all-fields approach, but below average power and average raw power that mostly works in the gaps. He’s mostly filled up and has a lean build, but matured body. Schrier’s likely to stay at short or move over to the other side and play plus defense at second, his bat profiles anywhere in the infield. Schrier’s barrel speed, EV’s, and LA’s don’t scream first rounder and he’s somewhat of a tweener. (Video in embedded tweet courtesy of Perfect Game) 

37. Jack Perkins, RHP, Louisville 

A lights-out freshman year in Louisville’s loaded ’19 staff (Miller, Detmers, Smith, Kirian, McAvene) was followed by turmoil. Perkins missed all of the 2020 recovering from TJS, in which he suffered towards the end of his freshman year. At his best, Perkins flashes a plus-SL with heavy-spin (3,000 rpm) and a FB that’s an average pitch. He lacks feel for his pitches, aside from his SL, which often times he throws when behind in the count. He’s got three average or better (50+) pitches, and seems better suited in a relief role, but he kept his velocity up in the 90’s deep into his two longest appearances as a FR (53 NP, 70 NP) and was hitting 92 consistently. With the development of his CH, and more feel for his FB, Perkins could jump up boards, but the command/control issues will push him to a relief role.

38. Joshua Baez, OF, Dexter Southfield (HS)

With that name you better be a worthwhile follow, and boy is Joshua exactly that. Like Javier Baez (no relation), there’s lots of bat whip and raw power in Joshua’s swing and you can put easy 5”s on both the hit and power tool’s. He’s a dominating player in games, making plays with the glove and arm in the corner outfield with the athleticism to play CF, but the arm (easy plus grade) that makes him best suited in RF where he’s a 6 defender. He can even come in a pump 97 on the mound in late-game situations, and he’ll even command his two pitches (60 FB/60 CB). The upside is through the roof on Baez, and there’s lots of above average or better (55+) tools. Baez even throws a CB with upwards of 2,750 rpm, something that’ll have organizations oozing on the two-way potential.

39. Garrett Burhenn, RHP, Ohio State

Sitting 91-93 from the right side, Burhenn’s got spin rates (2,430 on FB, 2,770 on SL, 2,726 on CB) that’ll grab a scout’s attention. Burhenn went heavy data-driven after his summer and completely scratched his fourth offering, a CH. He added a CB that perfectly complements the heavy back spinning FB. His top offerings are his FB/SL. The FB touches 97 with solid vMov. His SL’s in the 83-85 range, touching 87 with advanced characteristics (minimal vMov, some hMov) and fantastic success rates (34.5 SwStr%). Mechanically speaking, Burhenn’s 2020 spring delivery & 2020 summer delivery are two polar opposite operations and he’s a safe bet to stay in the delivery with three above average (55+) or better offerings with the ability to add a CH at the next level and round out a formidable five-pitch mix.

40. Davis Sharpe, RHP, Clemson 

Sharpe sat anywhere from 87-88, topping out at 89 from the right side in his shortened spring. It’s a weird profile as we didn’t get to see him later on in a year when most program’s arms are in full gear mode, but Sharpe flashes three average or better (50+) pitches and an on/off CH that’s above average at times. His SL’s a low-80’s pitch with a tight shape, but not bat-missing life. Sharpe will need to get back to his old self, where he sat 89-90 as a freshman, topping out at 93 with a lesser arm.

41. Mason Pelio, RHP, Boston College

Analytics won’t be pounding on the table for Mason Pelio – low spin rates on FB & BB’s, low SwStr% – but you can build on the current profile, which features an above average CH (1,706 rpm, heavy hMov) which likely ends up being a future plus pitch. He gets a good drive from his lower half with picturesque posture at release. Most of his profile is average, including below average command, but with his profile likely being sinker oriented at the next level, he’ll have to flash a plus breaking ball to get first round talks.

42. Cayden Brumaugh, 2B, Sante Fe (HS)

Cayden is the son of former big leaguer, Cliff Brumbaugh. The Oklahoma State commit has such an engaged & connected swing with all of his vital pieces seemingly synchronized. Cayden’s solid at short, he’s got an above average arm, and decent feel for the spot, but his transfer’s lackadaisical and he seems better suited for 2B, which limits his input of value. Brumbaugh’s swing creates below average (45-Grade) power and an above average hit tool, which could become plus with a strong summer & spring.

43. Mike Vasil, RHP, Virginia 

As a high schooler, Vasil took himself out of the draft just weeks before (Like Dylan Crews more recently) and turned down millions effectively. Since then, it’s been a rollercoaster and he’s struggled to keep his velocity up, dipping into the 80s early on in starts and even sitting 87-88 in his last start of the shortened ’20 spring, topping out at 90. At his best, Vasil flashes three above average or better (55+) secondaries, including a plus-CH and CB that flashes plus at times, his SL’s a solid third offering but he gets most of his swing-and-misses from the CH. His FB’s an average pitch, lacking refined command and velocity behind it as well as high-spin. He’s got poor characteristics on his FB (aside from 7 ft extension) and lacks efficiency in his spin numbers. Early on in his better starts, Vasil sat 92-93, hitting 95 and 94, but his end to the spring was a downward spiral and he’ll have to be back up into the mid-90’s – like he was coming out of high school – if he wants to jump into the upper half of the first round.

44. Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State 

Players with low LA’s like Cowser & less then desirable EV’s are tough to invest money into nowadays, but Cowser’s ability to play at least average defense in CF with above average speed helps the bat profile in the field. His walk rates and 55 hit are attractions for organizations, as is his low SwStr%/K%, so there’s lots to work with, even if his swing’s got a flat bat plane. Improving Cowser’s VBA would go a long way as the power could at least play down the lines & into the gaps where he can turn singles/doubles into doubles/triples.

45. CJ Rodriguez, C, Vanderbilt 

Joining Jack Leiter, Kumar Rocker & many more in possibly Vanderbilt’s deepest Draft Class in a while is CJ Rodriguez, eligible as a freshman (redshirt) like Leiter. Rodriguez had a solid showing for the Commodores in his brief freshman stint, showcasing an average hit tool, but great ball/strike recognition and a feel for the barrel. He’s the exact opposite of what models target nowadays (Lacks Size, Strength, Batted Ball Profile) but should be in play around the second to third round for his ability to make contact at a premium position. He lacks loft in his swing (and likely has low LA numbers). Most of his numbers are BIP heavy as he’s not a gap-hitter and reaches via ground balls more than you’d hope for. 

46. Jonathan Cannon, RHP, Georgia 

The canceled ’20 spring hurt guys like Jonathon Cannon, who would’ve been sophomore eligible this year, but instead is eligible as a redshirt freshman and didn’t get a chance to show himself in a starter role, which likely would’ve been his final role after putting up sublime numbers in a swingman role. Summer League’s were also canceled, and guys like Cannon didn’t get much opportunity to showcase their stuff, so now, his draft year, as a true sophomore will be much more emphasized, and with Wilcox and Hancock gone through the draft, Cannon’s in the spotlight. At his best, Cannon sat 92-93, touching 95 and flashing an above average  FB, and SL which worked in the low-80’s with a bigger shape then most. His CH was another low-80’s pitch and had some dip & dive shape, though it was an average pitch. Cannon’s command is below average, but there’s above average control. His weak glove side, which pulls off mid-delivery, contributes to his fringe command.

47. Zack Gelof, 3B, Virginia 

Gelof’s body proportions mirror a big leaguer. At third he’s a below average defender, though offensively he’s a 4 hit, 55 power, 60 raw guy with improving walk rates and glaring swing-and-miss concerns, as emphasized by his struggles against top arms (Olds, Cavalli, Swiney, Prater) last year (Hitless, 55.5 K%). He’s your prototypical 3rd-5th round talent that’ll sign as a four-year junior for right around the slot value. Saw Gelof live twice as a freshman and he was obviously advanced for a freshman, and his high EV’s should help him find a spot in the lineup even with a subpar glove and questionable position at the next level.

48. Carson McKinney, RHP, Orange Lutheran (HS)

Mechanically speaking, McKinney reminds me of a younger Brady Singer, with a similar delivery. At his best, McKinney touches 91 with an above average SL (2,300 – 2,400 rpm) and an above average FB (2,210 – 2,350 rpm) with well below average spin, but a shape that’s flat and plays really well at the bottom half of the zone. He’s got a strong lower half, and that’s partially the reason his delivery is so quick and efficient. He really engages his legs and gets good hip-shoulder separation. He’s got somewhat of a head whack, which contributed to the average control of his two pitches in live outings.

49. Carter Jensen, C, Park Hill (HS)

Jensen’s got a lot of explosion in his cut, but there’s heavy swing and miss in his bat. He’ll hit for power, and it plays in games to all fields, especially pull side where there’s plus power. An average athlete with below average receiving behind-the-plate, Jensen’s more than likely a safe bet to move away from the spot eventually, though he’s got above average arm strength that could help his cause in the case robo umps take over baseball. Behind a left-handed hitter should bring some value, and the arm strength could play into RF where his bat profiles thanks to the power.

50. Luke Hayden, RHP, Edgewood (HS)

There’s lots of hard-hitting pitches in Hayden’s portfolio, including a 60 FB that’s 92-94 (2,500 – 2,600 rpm), Plus-SL ranging from 82-84, (2,300 – 2,500 rpm) with devastating late action. His third offering is an average CH sits 85-87, (2,050 – 2,100 rpm). He’s quick on the mound and has fantastic hip-shoulder separation. The Indiana commit has one of the better breaking balls in the class, and his raw spin rates should have progressive organizations targeting him as he possesses a lot of qualities models covet.

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Featured image courtesy of photographer Gary McCullough and the Associated Press

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